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date: 11 December 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the ways in which the law of contract has been used and might be useful in understanding inter-organizational relations (IORs). In virtually all instances, when the representatives of two or more organizations conclude that their organizations will collaboratively work together towards some set of common and individual ends, they have to reach an agreement. In much of the social science literature dealing with IORs, scholars appear to be assuming that these agreements are ‘contracts’. In discussing the construct of a contract, this article begins by exploring how this concept has been addressed in the social sciences. The focus here is on sociology, psychology, economics, and management. This article concludes with a discussion of an agenda for future research on the subject of contracts in both the social sciences and in the law as it relates to IORs and inter-organizational entities.

Keywords: inter-organizational relations, social sciences, contracts, sociology, psychology, economics, management

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